Reception for the artist: Friday, July 30th, 6-8pm
For his first one-person gallery show in New York, Zilvinas Kempinas brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘video installation’ with a site-specific piece that employs the evocative and unusual material of unspooled videotape.
'Flying Tape' features an enormous circular loop of tape filling the entire space, floating and spinning in mid air. The tape is held aloft by a vortex of air created by seven industrial fans pointed outward toward the gallery walls. As the tape spins, it slowly ascends and descends, allowing the viewer to step inside its circle. The installation achieves its serene monumentality through the careful calibration of the given architectural characteristics of the space and the introduced elements of the fans. ‘Flying Tape’ emphasizes videotape’s contradictory materiality, its surprising strength and flexibility, yet barely-there lightness: the installation is both subject to, yet magically defiant of gravity.
With the growing ubiquity of digital recording technologies, the simple magic of the first VCR’s is becoming ever more remote, and the actual material of analogue videotape, slowly obsolete. Kempinas’ installation manages to re-engage with the metaphorical power of tape as a recording medium. The literal and perceptual feats that ‘Flying Tape’ achieves, serves to powerfully extend tape’s virtuality and transformative potential into an entirely new physical domain.
Zilvinas Kempinas was born in Lithuania in 1969. Having completed a BFA at the Vilnius Art Academy in 1993, the artist exhibited extensively throughout Europe before moving to New York, where he completed his MFA at Hunter College in 2002. In 2003, the artist had two installations featured at PS1 Contemporary Art Center as part of the ‘Projects’ series.